Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Just visiting

The difference between visiting my daughter and my son is intensity:>)

Our daughter is at home with our grandson full time. I admire their family determination to provide the best care for their child. Any other decision would put a different type of pressure on their young family that would not be easy to handle. The experience of working in the area might be better for her career- but not for their lives.
When visiting her household, there is rarely a minute to spare. There are places to go and things to do. Scheduling works around a toddler schedule- consistent in food, fun and sleep. As I say, no house is large enough for four big personalities for too long;>)

Our son works- often 14 hour days. When he gets home he is zapped. At least an hour of random computer time before the wind down begins. The weekends are non stop- but they are only two days long.
We have lots of down time here. We take over his media and lounge on the couch- lol. We might go and see the sight- but then there is traffic out there and neither of us know how to get there or home. Too much effort. We begin to think of all of the things at "home" we should be doing.

We love to visit both homes. We know our children love us. BUT

Guests, like fish, stink after five days. Both households were visited for seven days this fall. We forgot the rule. Hopefully, they will want us back. Five days next time:>)

Sunday, November 28, 2010


It is something that begs me to explore.
The draw of quilting is something unique.
It is not a family tradition.
My grandfather died young and my grandmother worked many hours to provide for her family.
Domestic arts slipped to the background.
Instead my teen years found me hanging out with Mary.
Her family was the epitome of domestic arts.
Through her, quilting entered my life.
None of my quilts from the past live with me.
No one actually believes that there are quilts in my past,
but they are out there- somewhere.
So, this morning when I found http://www.quiltsforkids.org/about/
my curiosity began anew.
Maybe, just maybe, this will be the winter of quilting!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

When your children grow

What does it mean to be a family?
There are now three families where there was once one.

Understanding family tree didn't really happen until our daughter married. The tree extended and we now have a new son and grandson. Amazing how that works.

With the extension of the tree- there is more looking at the stock. "He looks a lot like Uncle J." "That is exactly what my grandmother used to do"". A real combination of B family and G family- stubborn, know everything and always right!" " Marriage is until death- so you may as well work it out:>)" " Holding babies is so much more important than having a job outside the home!"

Sometimes it is a wonder to me that it has taken so long to really begin to appreciate what we have. Our family is at every stage right now- elderly mom, retired couple, married with a child and single man. The tree continues to grow straight and tall.

Baby N almost three years ago!

Giving up old friends- the cars edition

When we military moved- we sold. Usually out of "can't take it with you" mode. We also sold my Jeep to a college kid. Black is still worn in memory.
It is coming time to retire my Sebring. Lovely little convertible with less than 75,000 miles- in my world- a mere baby.

Here are the options:
Drive it to Phoenix and offer it to one of my family members for a very good price. What happens if it breaks because of a broken heart shortly after it is sold? Auntie N is the worst person on the earth!

Sell it to a soldier in the spring. The soft top down. This is a great car. Good option. Sadly- next winter it will die a slow death of ice and snow.

Take off the tires, put it in the barn and let it sit. This gets a chuckle from a few- but I can see a fully paid for car being pulled from storage if something happens to our other two vehicles.

Just get over it and sell it in Phoenix. There is a wedding in March. Plans to drive out are in the works anyway.

It is a perfectly good car:<( My frugal self is fighting with my practical self. Cars cost money, another mouth to feed even if it is only for 3,000 miles a year. Is it that- or the actual admission that we simply don't need two cars AND a truck while being retired? AGGGG!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday.

Some people poo poo Black Friday as a day of gluttony.
Not me.
It is a win win for the retailer and me.
The checkout clerk this morning said she was getting overtime
She was thrilled with that.
The managers are happy to see people shopping again.
Our family will get some things that we need,
and even some things that we want,
at a much better price than normally priced.

This year Walmart was on line!
A good thing, I hear their lines were around the building.
The PX was under control of the MP's
(as if military people don't know how to do a line).

There is nothing wrong with shopping on a sale days.
The chat in the lines was fun
Between the moms getting things for their babies
and the soldiers getting the latest camera
It is all fun- on a budget!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Planes, Cars and Ice

Flying was not so bad.
Our tiny TSA was comfortable and chatty.
The turkey baster made it through.
The plane was packed-
Meaning two open seats on a large plane.

The rental car counter has become the hardest sale place
that I have been on the recieving end for years.
Enterprise- ow! There must have been ten items,
"you really should buy this coverage".
"No!" It was worse than buying an new car.
Finally we got to "choose" our car.
Personally, just give me the keys and let me go!

The roads in the Tacoma area are icey
People are not used to driving on them.
Some whizzed by at 70-
just to find them spinning a few miles down the road.
I am an Arizona girl
so my Idaho hubby did the driving:>)
I am sure the drivers appreciated that.

Being with our son for Thanksgiving is special.
We miss our daughter's family terribly.
We are thankful for all of our family as they
celebrate Thanksgiving all across our Country.

Life is good!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

And WHY do I like being retired?

It is the most wonderful time of the year.
The turkeys and families are gathering.

We will become friends with the TSA screeners,
I am sure.
There are four of them here.
We have three flights and one gate at our airport.
It is "manned" by
A great group semi retired Americans.
Being retired we are relaxed
and just roll with what they have to do.
I get it. They are not the maker of the rules.
Maybe I'll make Christmas cookies for them later in the month!

Small town friendliness, travel, flexibility,
being smart about "saving up" that "travel envelope" money,
all a part of the retiring and enjoyment for us.

Happy Thanksgiving to the travelers and non travelers alike.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Last day

I met a little guy two months ago.
After I substituted in his classroom twice he said,,
"Hey, I think that if you worked with me I could learn how to read."
After 25 years I have never had a child approach me for a specific need like learning to read.
Maybe it was just assumed that I would do it.
Our journey began.
Cleared calendar for two months- an hour every day.
Last week he read his first book. WhhhhOOOO!
Today he both recognized and recorded all of the sounds of the alphabet. He finished by reading his sixth book (and stacking a group of books that were next.)
Tomorrow is a meeting about him. He had a introductory plan with preliminary Special Education intervention.
What he got was a double dose of Phonics
He reads.
No SPED for this young man. He knew what he needed. He asked. He got it.
Now it is time for him to practice and me to move on.
He was right.
I needed to slow down and help.
He needed to read.
Amazing that he picked me to work with.
Smart kid!

Have I told you lately how much I love my life?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

We had a little visitor today

Not my picture.
The one we saw was probably full grown. He was resting under the slide, staying out of the rain and scoping out the bunnies.
This is our third sighting.
I think he is making himself (assuming it is male) comfortable for the winter. The spring runs most of the winter and there are plenty of downed trees for dens.

Remind me to wear some jingle bells when I go traipsing across the trail. The winter is the only time it is clear enough to go!

Let the wood work begin

My husband has asked for wood work tools every Christmas and Birthday since we were married. There has not been much variation on the theme. The first project was finished and shipped to our son.
Yesterday we traveled about two
hours to make the first major purchase for "the rest
of his life".
White oak.
It is beautiful!
He is going to make all of the upstairs doors into solid wood. The lumberman chuckled," You'd better have ball bearing hinges. Those babies are going to weigh a ton."

So, the line is forming.
Inside doors,
table for our daughter,
bedstead for my sister,
desk for our son.
Good thing they are buying the wood. This is one habit that will be difficult to fit into our everyday "needs".
Even if it is a bit of a budget buster the look on my husband's face when he touches the wood is...priceless!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Always check to see what is going OUT of fashion

Those who REALLY know me, know that I do not know the first thing about fashion. In general I can be found purchasing something just as it is leaving the fashion show room.
Wha La!
Two days ago I found this purse (no my dear sister- it is not even close to leather).
I want a purse for the training I am traveling to. The one I carry is tiny. My little angel said, "Look at those big purses! They are SO in fashion!" This purse was lonely at the bottom of a heap. The first price was well out of how much I have ever spent for a purse (Ok- so I have never spent over $80. on a purse- you got me there).
My fashion angel has often lead me to such deals. She must get a good chuckle when it goes out of fashion the next month.
This purse suddenly became a need instead of a want.
The purse had been marked down. And marked again. "Reasonable for a travel essential", my brain processed. It is enough for some books and a laptop ( seeing my other sister cringe that I would consider FILLING the purse).
Good shoulder fit. And, I might look semi fashionable, while trying hard to look professional, at the set of meetings.
I got to the register- it was "50% off the last price hour"- lol. I got it for... well, I am not going to tell you since it was almost embarrassing to watch the check out lady's eyes get so wide. She checked the tag three times.
Madame huge, clunky, black, "fashionable" purse will make the three trips this December, and maybe the 30 trips to schools from Jan- March. Then, I promise, it will be sent to the Good Will because I know it will be terribly out of fashion by then!
Now if I could just get her from bugging me about my tiny sun glasses....

Somedays you just have to see a baby:>)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

First snow!

Snow is so hard to see when it starts.
The clock struck twelve noon and the snow is coming quickly. I'll get a good picture when it stops.

The last

Many people try to get things finalized by the end of the year. My goal is to be done to start anew by Advent.
Starting over
The leaves are gone from the large trees - the end of the liturgical year
The evergreens continue- just as Christ's everlasting care for us to always be able to see to the next season.
My books will close at the end of the month for the year. Taxes will be paid, stocks will be sold and bought to begin the new year fresh, debts reviewed and paid off, cards off to old friends.
Advent is a time to start a new.

The last days of fall

Next week is Thanksgiving.
Even though it is still a full month away from winter, fall is waining.
It is beautiful, but a bit nerve racking.
Are we ready for the winter?
Can we survive another ice storm in January?
God provides.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dinner for ?

We travel to see our son on Tuesday.
First we were going to eat at the hanger
then at another's house,
and now--- we are making dinner for some of the single guys (I guess the gals are headed home).
Thanksgiving dinner on post is always an adventure.
There is always someone who "forgot" at the last minute.
Rounding up people is an exciting prospect.
The Army is a family.
No matter where we are- it grows and changes.
And so, the tradition continues.
While others sit with their extended family-
we sit with whomever shows up at the table.
I sure hope the pie turns out this year!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Missing Dad

Four years ago today.
Seems like yesterday- and a million years ago all in one.

This is one blog you should not miss
She is amazing.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fifteen years

How close- but how far in time.

The article is wrong. There were 7 killed and over seventy injured. One of the injured later died in the Pentagon on 9/11.

It was a very long day- month- year.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November 11th

My sister and her husband celebrate
THIRTY TWO years together today.
So much for the predictions that teen marriages do not last.
Here they are with my son- a soldier and a veteran.
Somewhere are the pictures of my husband, father and father in law in uniform....
In the digital age, I have no excuse!

Read the findings for yourself

Yesterday and today the news was filled with one minute takes on the "debt commission". Looking for the entire report was almost useless. The New York Times put out this. It is the slide show of what the co-chairmen put together.

First glance to me, pretty scary. Our health care and my husband's retirement pay are seriously in question. BUT, I would be willing to give in those areas for a flatter tax and some of the cuts for second homes/crazy business cuts. Why should anyone be able to write off their car and gas for work? (Or, to put it in my world: Why should I pay for your car if you don't pay for mine?)
The US needs to seriously stabilize. The Social Security piece also looks do able. Personally, I would LOVE to see the "survivor benefits" for children go away- and most of the disability benefits as well. Harsh, yes, but they didn't pay in- so why should they get anything?

My surprise- why are they not cutting the Department of Education? What a waste. Education SHOULD be local. I can see some subsidy for the low income areas- but the department itself is a waste of money.

BTW- vesting retirement for military at ten years- great for the service member. Will we have much of a military if that happens- probably not. If you have been in that long you can make far more in corporate America.

What areas of government do you, personally, have actual knowledge of? What could be cut from it? What part of government are you willing to cut (that will affect your quality of life) in order to balance the budget?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Remember Glenn Beck is LDS

My LDS family is kind and generous. One thing that I always have to remember is that their religion depends on preparing for the time and place of the end of the world. They have a large food storage and recently added a 72 hour disaster bag. We do have a food storage of sorts. It was well used when we were iced into our house for a week!

Glenn Beck exemplifies "being prepared" when he predicts the price of bread at $24 a loaf sometime soon. Yes the price of corn has doubled- but it was a banner year for corn in the midwest. Russia lost their crop.
Being in Kansas- my thoughts are that we will find other ways to eat (probably healthier ways) if that comes to pass.
Our family journeyed through some tough times- and we survived. Part of that type of survival is why we are in Kansas on 17 acres ;>)

My faith reminds me to keep my soul as clean as I can. Being prepared for the end is a matter of constant vigil of my moral self. My end may be today even if the world end isn't for millions of years. Looking around at how to make the world a better place is part of my faith- not fear that my own style of living will end tomorrow.

My days of wondering if Glenn is right are pretty much over. I don't buy gold. (Did you know Rush and Glenn both have large shares of gold companies they advertise?) If the end comes and my soul is not ready- what is the purpose?

Can you see our turkeys as they wander back into the fields in front of our house?
Days like this one are hard to beat. The mist is in the afternoon air and the fall leaves have painted the fields.
This is the time of year I love living in Kansas.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Sometimes we forget them

There are prayers being asked for the "Darkhorse" Marines. They are fighting it out in Afghanistan as you read this.
Please remember them in your prayers.
Here is the article.

Monday, November 08, 2010

29th anniversary of the day we met

There are occasions one remembers clearly. In our house we are more apt to remember the day we met than the day we married.
The day we met the wind was crisp outside. The teachers were all at the officer's club relaxing and eating dinner after a long day at work. My sponsor showed up with a guy in tow. That guy was covered in "field mud" and all we could really see of him was his blue eyes. Crystal blue.
He sat down next to me and whew- I hardly remember anyone else at the table. We talked for about four hours that night. Five or six the night after.
Along with the daily motorcycle rides came long conversations about life and living, people we admired and just everything else. Daily travel was either to the restaurant up the hill for dinner or a "new" town to see up the Main River.
He proposed to me in Berlin over Thanksgiving. And again on the first of December when he was promoted. So quiet, yet so bold.
This is the month we celebrate our time together. Strangely more important than the day we married.
The day we met.
November 6, 1981.
Next year we will be overseas for our anniversary of the day we met- maybe in Germany at the restaurant at the top of the hill. I wonder if it is still open?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The days of visiting are coming to a close.We have enjoyed may things together.Life is good, especially when you get to enjoy it with a three year old.